UAE and Greece sign pacts to strengthen trade and economic ties

Mubadala and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments to expand current partnership by investing €200 million

The Greek island of Spetses. Part of the CSP is an agreement to turn some Greek islands into green economic models. Getty Images
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The UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy, and Greece signed several initial pacts and discussed ways to broaden co-operation and boost trade and investment ties between the two nations as part of their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).

The initial agreements were signed after the UAE government officials and private sector executives led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, held discussions in Greece during an official visit, the Ministry of Economy said in a statement on Sunday.

Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi's strategic investment arm, and Greece's Hellenic Development Bank of Investments signed an initial agreement to broaden their existing partnership through a €200 million ($219 million) investment.

The new investment, which is in addition to a €400 million partnership announced in 2018, is expected to boost co-operation in emerging and private investments in Greek funds that focus on high-growth sectors, the ministry said.

The UAE-Greece CSP spans areas including political co-operation, international humanitarian developments, trade, investment, tourism, culture and energy sector investments, among others.

Dr Al Jaber said the UAE was keen to bolster strategic relations with the EU country, particularly in mutually beneficial sectors.

The officials from the two sides also reviewed the progress made on a €4 billion joint investment fund established by the two countries in 2022 to invest in the Greek economy.

The fund's joint steering committee also held a meeting to discuss “promising” investment opportunities, with the aim of fostering “sustainable” and “long-term” partnerships.

Both sides also emphasised the need to enhance co-operation in digital, government services and artificial intelligence, the statement said.

The Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar and the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy also signed an agreement to build projects under the "GR-Eco Islands" initiative, which aims to accelerate the transition of some Greek islands into green economic models, fuelled by clean energy and digital innovation.

As part of the agreement, Masdar will develop infrastructure projects, share expertise in energy efficiency, and support Greece's efforts to increase renewable energy usage in transportation, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure sectors.

The non-oil trade volume between the UAE and Greece reached about Dh1.97 billion in 2022 and grew by about 6.2 per cent during the first nine months of 2023, according to official data.

The expansion was fuelled by a rise in re-exports, which surged by about 58 per cent during the period.

The UAE is keen to expand its trade and investment relations with fast-growing economies across the globe.

Last month, the UAE and Kenya concluded negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) in a “landmark” deal that is expected to provide further access to the high-growth African continent and expansion into sectors from food to technology.

The UAE has already concluded Cepas with India, Israel, Indonesia, Turkey, Georgia, Cambodia, Colombia, South Korea and Costa Rica.

Updated: March 10, 2024, 4:43 PM